GLEN BURNIE, MD (December 23, 2020)– Law enforcement officers often find themselves carrying precious cargo in unexpected situations. The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is making sure that when officers need to transport children, they have the tools to do so safely. This month MDOT MVA presented Maryland State Police (MSP) and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police with new Graco 3-in-1 child safety seats, which will be available to officers at each of the 23 MSP barracks and seven MDTA Police detachments.
The project was made possible through a partnership between MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office and the Maryland Department of Health’s Kids in Safety Seats (KISS) initiative. Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law requires that children under age 8 be secured in an approved car safety seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches.
“When we heard many law enforcement agencies needed updated car seats, we turned to our partners at KISS for assistance in choosing a seat that would not only be easy to use but appropriate for all children,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “We understand the importance of buckling up and are glad we can help our law enforcement partners ensure all children are transported safely.”
Administrator Nizer was joined by Lt. Colonel Roland Butler, Chief of the MSP Field Operations Bureau; Lt. Colonel Joseph Scott, Operations Bureau Chief for MDTA Police; and other officers at the MDOT MVA Glen Burnie Headquarters on December 11 for the presentation. Thirty car seats were distributed to MSP barracks and MDTA Police detachments as the first piece of a three-part initiative. When the project is complete, nearly 100 car seats will be distributed to law enforcement agencies across Maryland.
“The new child safety seats we are receiving today are an important resource to have available and will be put to good use at each of our 23 barracks across Maryland,” Lt. Colonel Butler said. “Whether in a personal vehicle or a police vehicle, it is vital that each driver ensures children are transported safely and securely. We are proud to join the Maryland Department of Health’s KISS program and the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office in this ongoing statewide effort to keep our children safe on Maryland roads.”
?An easy to use pictorial guide was developed by MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office and secured to each car seat to assist law enforcement with proper installation. Officers are also encouraged to watch a short, pre-recorded presentation, with additional tips for properly securing the seat.
“As both a parent and a police officer, I’m grateful to the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office and KISS for their support,” Colonel Kevin Anderson, Chief of MDTA Police said. “We remind Marylanders to buckle up, every seat, every time, and this partnership enables our officers to ensure that happens in situations when children are in our care.”
“This is a tremendous initiative by MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office, and a powerful partnership between MDOT, the Department of Health and law enforcement agencies,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “All of us must put safety first on Maryland’s roadways, particularly when it comes to transporting children. This donation will help law enforcement officers do what they do best: protect citizens.”
Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.